Bonds passes physical, gets one-year deal from Giants
Amy K. Nelson
On a conference call with reporters late Monday night, Bonds was asked why it took so long for the deal to be completed.
"I was on a skiing vacation," he said, laughing. "It didn't take any time. It's normal procedure."
There is a protection in Bonds' contract that says if the player is indicted in connection with the BALCO case and is suspended by the league, it will be treated as any other league suspension, meaning Bonds will not be paid during that period, ESPN's Pedro Gomez reported.
Larry Baer, the Giants' Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, told ESPN's Karl Ravech on Monday night that had there not been protections given in case of any BALCO-related issues, which could prevent Barry Bonds from playing, and that Bonds' personal trainers not be allowed in the clubhouse, the deal "would not have been done."
"This is a team, not an individual game," Baer said.
A federal grand jury is investigating whether Bonds perjured himself when he testified in 2003 in the BALCO case that he hadn't knowingly taken any performance-enhancing drugs.
Two baseball officials said the slugger's trainers -- Harvey Shields and Greg Oliver -- would no longer be on the Giants' payroll. That means neither will be allowed in the clubhouse, where they previously had their own lockers next to Bonds' space, or any other restricted area in any big league ballpark, the officials said. If they were to make road trips, it would be on Bonds' dime or their own.
The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of such details in Bonds' contract.
"I have no problems with it," Bonds said. "[Oliver] and Harvey will be with me. Just outside the ballpark."
Bonds, who traveled to the Bay Area from his offseason home in Southern California, underwent X-rays and many other tests from multiple team doctors.
Barry Bonds officially re-signed with the Giants on Monday. Bonds's next home run for the Giants will be his 559th for the club, and will tie him with Harmon Killebrew for the fourth-most by a player for one team. Hank Aaron had 733 for the Braves, Babe Ruth hit 659 for the Yankees, Willie Mays had 646 for the Giants and Killebrew had 559 for the Senators/Twins franchise.
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The seven-time NL MVP waved, yelled "hello, hello" and smiled as he left the stadium Monday and then quickly drove away, with agent Jeff Borris in the passenger seat. Borris did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press.
The 42-year-old Bonds begins the 2007 season with 734 home runs, 22 from breaking Hank Aaron's career record of 755.
"I knew things would work out. This is where I always wanted to play and always loved to play. The city of San Francisco is what I love. The people of San Francisco are who I love. There's no better place for me to be," Bonds said. "This is my history. The people in San Francisco deserve it all."
Bonds can earn another $4.2 million in performance bonuses based on how much he plays. If he matches last year's effort -- 493 plate appearances, 130 games -- he would receive the whole amount.
"I'm very excited and very happy we got it all done," Bonds said. "I'm just glad to be on the team and glad things worked out. I think we should be talking about team. We've got a good team that's got a chance to do something."
After missing all but 14 games in 2005 following three operations on his right knee, Bonds batted .270 with 26 homers and 77 RBIs and drew 115 walks last year. He passed Babe Ruth to move into second place on the career home run list May 28.
But the Giants missed the playoffs for the third straight year, leaving Bonds no closer to the World Series ring he has always coveted.
Bonds said he plans to play beyond this season if he doesn't break Aaron's record in 2007.
"I think I'll be around until I'm 100, or at least try to," Bonds said.
Bonds, who is coming off surgery on his troublesome left elbow, has been deemed healthier by the team than last year at this time. And he wound up playing regularly in 2006.
What does that mean for his home run chances?
"You can't predict what's going to happen," he said. "Pray to God my body holds up. ... I'm great."
A day after the season ended, Magowan said Bonds would no longer be the centerpiece of the franchise if he played for the Giants in 2007 -- and then the club signed ace Barry Zito to a $126 million, seven-year contract earlier this month. San Francisco hosts the All-Star game this summer, and Bonds is certain to bring attention to the city leading up to the event.
"I am looking forward to the opportunity to manage one of the greatest players to have ever played the game," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said in a statement released by the team. "As we enter the 2007 season, we are confident that Barry will be a major contributor to our success on the field."
Bonds filed for free agency and apparently drew interest from Oakland, St. Louis, San Diego and other teams.
He reportedly failed an amphetamines test last season. The New York Daily News said that when Bonds first learned of the result, he attributed it to a substance he took from teammate Mark Sweeney's locker.
"Everything is false. Mark Sweeney never did anything wrong. Period," Bonds said. "My relationship with Mark Sweeney is phenomenal. We are very good friends. ... We're fine."
In an earlier public statement, Bonds cleared Sweeney and said, "he did not give me anything whatsoever and has nothing to do with this matter." Bonds didn't address whether he took amphetamines.
When asked Monday whether he used amphetamines, Bonds said, "I'm not going to comment on that."
Bonds, who has played 21 major league seasons, has repeatedly denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean declined to discuss details of the contract, such as why the trainers would not be allowed to be around.
"Every contract has its own twists and turns," he said.
Bonds has spent 14 years with San Francisco and helped the Giants draw 3 million fans in all seven seasons in their waterfront ballpark. He has long hoped to end his career with the team for which his late father, Bobby, and godfather, Willie Mays, once played.
"I just want to win. I want to win a championship here in San Francisco," Bonds said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.